Home Gaming Insert Coin – Afterburner

Insert Coin – Afterburner

2 min read

Afterburner arcade

I feel the need! The need for speed! Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, dogfighting was all the rage. Top Gun had romanticised a military branch which was snapping up suckers for military service quicker than the eye could see, jets were sexier than Ferrari cars and Kenny Loggins was cruising the highway to the danger zone in style. Naturally, gaming wanted to get in on this. Dogfighting arcade cabinets were a dime a dozen. But none of them had the class…of Afterburner.

The game

Afterburner (2)

Released in 1987 during Sega’s rise to the top, Afterburner had players proving their worth as Top Thumb in a series of missions. The action was tight! The visuals were sweet for 1987! And the jet was of course an F-14 Tomcat, with numerous Top Gun references. Players could fly like a demon, fire an endless stream of bullets and a limited set of missiles. It was actually a pretty damn good game, and worth pumping coins into, with sequels following in its wake. But the real beauty of the game wasn’t in its solid gameplay mechanics. No that honour, went to the arcade cabinet itself…

The arcade stand

Because they were works of art. Just look at them:

Afterburner (3)

Afterburner (4)

Afterburner (1)

Afterburner (2)

There were two cabinets released, one of which was your standard upright cabinet and a proper version that rotated with you. Players had a proper pilot seat to sit in, while the rotating version had built-in speakers to add some immersion to the experience. Hell, even years later, this was considered ground-breaking stuff. But it’s the love and care that went into this stand, that made it a masterpiece.

Afterburner (1)

Everything, from the shape to the decals, just worked. In terms of design, it was an experience that was ahead of its time, like a Yamaha FZR motorcycle. The flashing lights that activated when an enemy locked in were icing on the cake, the sound was ear-splitting and the controls were smooth enough to give an accurate approximation of being plunged into a dogfighting warzone. It’s the kind of game that just doesn’t work outside of a proper setup.

Above all that however, everything combined to just be pure fun. Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiighway to the danger zone!

Last Updated: May 7, 2015


  1. Kenny Loggins! Luckily we never needed to land or refuel the plane midair…….
    *Looks at Top Gun.


    • Kromas,powered by windows 10.

      May 7, 2015 at 15:41

      Cause …


      • Hammersteyn

        May 7, 2015 at 16:01

        Cause in Top Gun on NES you had to land the plane. And it’s impossible if you don’t know how


        • RinceThis

          May 7, 2015 at 16:20

          Only if you are a NOOB! *RUNS


        • schitsophrenic-toothbrush

          May 7, 2015 at 17:51

          Stupid game…I kept on crashing…stupid aircraft carrier..


          • Hammersteyn

            May 8, 2015 at 07:40

            LOL, same here, till I figured out you need to look at the numbers on the left.

      • Hammersteyn

        May 7, 2015 at 16:02

        Oh wait, now I see the pic hahaha


      • MarilynKMiddleton

        May 7, 2015 at 19:13

        ?????Set Profit From your Home with Google Marketing@nj21:::



    • Gr8_Balls_o_KFM_Fire

      May 7, 2015 at 20:01

      Ace Combat 6 as well.

      But damn, nothing can touch that masterpiece!


  2. fred

    May 7, 2015 at 15:42

    Ja ,way back I could not even afford the 1 rand to play this , could only play the 20 c machines.


  3. RinceThis

    May 7, 2015 at 15:51

    OMG! I loved this game so damn much!


  4. Tbone187

    May 7, 2015 at 16:06

    Thought you were going somewhere with this like perhaps an updated version or you managed to get one for the studio or something…Great game tho. Also featured in the epic Terminator 2.


  5. Jason King

    May 7, 2015 at 17:06

    lazygamer ………@@ SEE MORE INFO<–


  6. Gr8_Balls_o_KFM_Fire

    May 7, 2015 at 20:00

    Now that song is ringing in my head..

    Btw what did these setups cost?

    Come Darren teach us!!


  7. justlikemo

    May 7, 2015 at 21:05

    dude this game, man, we would save up all our money all holiday, cos come last week in December,we were not very rich, so I had to save up for that stuff, but man when we could go out and have fun, we would head down to the Marine parade man, you would walk up on freaking arcade game heaven, they had after burner, dig dug, arkanoid, centipede, burger TIME ! my favourite of all Out run, you could not beat out run, I would spend most of my money just playing out run, when we got our first PC and it could play out run, dude I would spend all day playing that(think it was a 486) , man life was good, , cant make those memories again. Wait, where’s my gameboy


  8. caponeil

    May 8, 2015 at 08:13

    I always bloody crashed, trying to show off! I had a proper love hate relationship with this game!


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